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The Probotector is a fighting robot that was developed in top secret by a special scientific mechanized unit.
~ Super Probotector: Alien Rebels instruction booklet
For other uses, see Probotector (disambiguation).

Probotectors are the main protagonists in most European game versions of the Contra series. They would eventually become individual characters in later sequels and reboots.

History

When Konami released the NES version of the original Contra in the PAL region (Europe and Australia), they modified the game by replacing the original main characters and most of the human enemies with robotic counterparts, re-titling the game as Probotector (a portmanteau of "robot" and "protector"). The two new protagonists, RD008 and RC011, replaced Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, respectively. This was presumably done due to the German Federal Agency BPjM, which banned the sales of media deemed too violent for children, including "content which glorifies war", thus requiring the change to robotic characters.

In Contra 4, a Probotector appears as a secret character and received something of a canon update; Probotector units are armed recon robots specifically used in areas normally too dangerous or threatening for humans to enter, an open reference to their appearance as the protagonists of the early European Contra games. Much as was the case for Scorpion and Mad Dog in Contra 4, Probotectors canonically served alongside Bill Rizer and Lance Bean during the first Galuga Island conflict.

Characters

Appearances

Note: Years indicate the dates the versions that include the Probotector characters were released, not the original versions release dates of the games.

Notes

  • To unlock Probotector as a playable character in Contra 4, the player has to complete twelve challenges in "Challenge" mode.
    • It's worth mentioning that Contra 4 was never released in Europe, which would make this appearance something of an oddity, as the character would be appearing in a game where he'd have no necessary reason to be.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The European version of Contra: The Alien Wars is called Probotector 2. As such, both "Probotector" games for the Game Boy form a separate subseries.
  • Browny, a miniature robot protagonist appearing in Contra: Hard Corps, and BR-W9, also a miniature robot protagonist from Contra Rebirth (although in a alternate universe), bear notorious resemblances to Probotectors, likely being a nod to them with a chibi design.
    • Browny's serial number is CX-1-DA300; in the European version of the game, all the rest of the protagonists were changed to combat robots closely following Probotector-like designs; also, their names were changed as different models of the CX series (Ray to CX-1, Sheena to CX-2, Fang to CX-3 and Browny to CX-4).
    • In Contra: Return, a pair of combat robot characters were introduced called Bull and Scar who bear a strikingly similar design to the Probotectors (most likely being reimagined/modernized versions of them), who also belong to the CX series (although in that game's alternate universe), these being CX-1-DA-1000 and CX-1-DA-2000, respectively.
  • In Contra 4, there's an enemy called Proboterror. Fittingly enough, they are Probotector units that have been corrupted and altered by Black Viper's forces. In addition to a standard humanoid form, they can reconstitute themselves if destroyed, adopting the form of either a dog-like recon robot or an armed combat walker.
  • In Contra 4, the playable Probotector has three alternate colors. In addition to the standard gray RD008 color scheme, there's also a blue RC011 color scheme, a gold color scheme and a dark-purple color scheme.

See also

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